Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center

1101 Bates Avenue, Houston, Texas 77030

Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center has a section devoted to mesothelioma treatment. This department is the Mesothelioma Treatment Center at Baylor College of Medicine. Three trained specialists are on staff.

doctor image

focus icon

Pleural Mesothelioma and

Peritoneal Mesothelioma

location icon

Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center

1101 Bates Avenue

Houston, Texas

specialist icon

Dr. Taylor Ripley

Dr. Lorraine Cornwell

Dr. Eugene Choi

doctor image

JUMP TO A TOPIC

jump to icon

SCROLL TO TOP


More About Mesothelioma Treatment at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center

Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center has three mesothelioma specialists on staff. They see patients through the affiliated cancer center or VA medical center. Baylor St. Luke’s cancer center has accreditation with the National Cancer Institute.

“I like to think of the patient’s treatment as a strategy rather than an operation,” Dr. Taylor Ripley, the head of mesothelioma treatment at the institution, said in a video on the hospital’s website. “With multimodality therapy, we give them chemotherapy, potentially radiotherapy, with surgery. Those three aspects are what’s commonly thought of as multimodality therapy.”

Information About the Specialists at Baylor St. Luke’s

Dr. Ripley is Director of the Mesothelioma Treatment Center, a section of Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center and the Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Lorraine Cornwell is a VA mesothelioma specialist affiliated with Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center. She is Section Head of General Thoracic Surgery at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. This is also called the Houston VA Medical Center.

Dr. Eugene Choi is a surgical oncologist, seeing patients through the Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is the peritoneal mesothelioma specialist at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center. He sees patients at Baylor St. Luke’s and the Houston VA Medical Center.

Cancer Center Specialists Icon

Experienced Mesothelioma Specialists

    • Dr. Taylor Ripley, Director of Mesothelioma Treatment Center at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center
    • Dr. Lorraine Cornwell, Section Head of General Thoracic Surgery at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center
    • Dr. Eugene Choi, Surgical Oncologist at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center and the Houston VA
Cancer Center Affiliations Icon

Affiliations

    • Baylor College of Medicine
    • Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center
    • Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (Houston VA Medical Center)
Cancer Center Treatments Icon

Treatment Specialties

    • Pleurectomy/decortication surgery
    • Extrapleural pneumonectomy surgery
    • Cytoreduction surgery with HIPEC
    • Chemotherapy
    • Immunotherapy
    • Tumor treating fields therapy (Optune Lua)

Get Connected to Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center

Get Connected to Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center - Form Image

Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center is one of the few cancer facilities accredited by the National Cancer Institute. There are only four with this designation in Texas. The hospital’s Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center has three remarkable specialists for mesothelioma.

Why Choose Baylor St. Luke's?

  • NCI‑designated cancer center
  • Specialists experienced treating pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma
  • Treatment offered to veterans with mesothelioma








Diagnosis:


Protocol for Aggressive Surgery

Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center has an intricate process for undergoing mesothelioma surgery or other treatment options.

“Given that it’s a rare disease, most patients are diagnosed or seen by a physician with a low experience with the disease,” Dr. Ripley said in the video. “Most of the patients we see will have a cough or pain or decreased exercise. They’ll be treated by their physicians for a common cold or receive a chest X‑ray.”

Once patients reach Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, they get a personalized approach. This determines the best course of action.

“When they first see us, we do a thorough assessment of the patient as well as the spread of disease in order to see what they can tolerate and what is most appropriate to them,” Dr. Ripley said.

The options for surgery are extrapleural pneumonectomy and pleurectomy/decortication. These are for pleural mesothelioma. Cytoreduction surgery is for peritoneal mesothelioma and pairs with heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC).

Non‑Surgery Options Available for Mesothelioma

Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center is one of more than 100 hospitals offering Optune Lua. This is a wearable device sending electromagnetic waves through the body. These waves, called tumor treating fields, disrupt cell division and can have a tremendous effect on cancer cells.

Optune Lua is approved by the FDA for unresectable malignant pleural mesothelioma. It received the green light for mesothelioma treatment in May 2019 and quickly became an option at Baylor St. Luke’s, among other cancer centers.

Other non‑surgical options are:

  • Immunotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation

Doctors at Baylor St. Luke’s may add one or more of these before or after surgery. This is called multimodal therapy.

Cancer Center Ranking Icon

Hospital Ranking

    • Not listed in the U.S. News & World Report 2021‑2022 Hospitals Honor Roll
    • Ranked 35th in cancer treatment
    • Ranked 31st in gastrointestinal cancer surgery
    • High performing in lung cancer surgery
    • Ranked 3rd in Texas
    • Ranked 2nd in Houston

Top Ranking and NCI Designation

The Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center ranked 27th in the country in the 2020 version of U.S. News and World Report’s hospital rankings. The gastrointestinal surgery department ranked 21st.

The hospital ranked high for both in 2021-2022 and 2022-2023, along with ranking third in Texas and second in Houston. It’s the 35th best hospital in the country for cancer treatment in the 2022-2023 rankings.

Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center is also a National Cancer Institute‑designated facility. This label proves the hospital is one of the elite medical institutions in the United States. Only a handful of hospitals receive this accreditation. There are only four with this designation in Texas.

Getting Treatment at Baylor St. Luke’s

Finding any cancer center for treatment is easy. There are hundreds, even thousands, in the United States. Finding one for mesothelioma treatment is much more difficult. Mesothelioma is a rare disease, and you should go to a center like Baylor St. Luke’s with multiple specialists for surgery and medical oncology.

Email our lead patient advocate and registered nurse, Karen Ritter, at karen@mesotheliomaguide.com. You can also get VA treatment from Baylor St. Luke’s Mesothelioma Treatment Center staff if you’re a military veteran with mesothelioma. Email Carl Jewett, our VA accredited claims agent and VA hospital advocate, at cjewett@mesotheliomaguide.com.

Another option is filling out our form for cancer center recommendations. While Baylor St. Luke’s is a great choice, there might be another cancer center fitting your needs. We’ll help you choose the hospital and a specialist.

Sources & Author

    1. Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center. U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved from: https://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/area/tx/st-lukes-episcopal-hospital-6742005. Accessed: 10/19/2021.
    2. Find a Cancer Center. National Cancer Institute. Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.gov/research/infrastructure/cancer-centers/find. Accessed: 10/21/2021.
Karen image

About the Writer, Karen Ritter, RN BSN

Karen Ritter, a registered nurse, is the lead patient advocate for Mesothelioma Guide. She has a deep passion for patient care, which includes helping patients and their families search for treatment options at the top mesothelioma cancer centers. She finds the balance between encouraging patients to receive the best treatment possible while enjoying their time with loved ones and friends. Karen is a valuable asset for patients due to her knowledge of mesothelioma, compassion for the victims of this disease and dedication to guiding patients through their treatment journey.